Police had to deploy at the “8th of September” hospital in Skopje, where the most serious Covid-19 cases are treated, after the family of a deceased female patient threatened a doctor yesterday afternoon.

Members of the family demanded that the body is given to then immediately, ignoring the procedures required for treating coronavirus patients. When the doctor refused to sign off, family members entered the hospital armed and threatened the doctor in an attempt to get the body.

Five police patrol vehicles were seen outside the hospital in the afternoon and a large number of officers, and later Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce confirmed the incident and urged the public to be considerate of the doctors fighting the disease. The Interior Ministry said that a number of those threatening the doctor were detained.

Macedonia is in the midst of a major Second Wave of the epidemic, hitting mostly the Muslim Albanian parts of the country, where social distancing norms were widely ignored during the month of Ramadan. Numbers are far worse than they were during the presumed peak in mid April, when at most about 90 patients were treated as serious cases per day. Numbers now easily surpass 250 at any given moment and the two main clinics that treat the patients are warning that they are at the end of their strength.